With his slow start in the rear-view mirror, we can only hope that Mauer's approach at the plate (and the ensuing success) can be contagious. He's now batting .346/.420/.452.
|2008 - Joe Mauer||28||101||20||34||9||1||0||14||13||8||0||1||.337||.409||.446|
On April 12th, Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 against the Kansas City Royals, giving him quite the dubious start to the season. Certainly the entire offense was in a disturbing funk, but hitting just .250/.279/.300 and hitting second or third in the batting order, Mauer was sitting at the center of the problem.
Of course in his next game he was again hitless, but did draw a trio of free passes. Since then he's gone hitless only once, and in his last 17 contests has turned things around impressively. In that period he's a one-man wrecking crew, hitting .406/.500/.547. Sure he's still homerless, but with a line like that, who cares?
So, with the prodigal son once again hitting exactly like the baseball diety he's often treated like, it's time to shift our disapproving gaze to a couple other hitters whose power and potential seems to have been zapped by a phantom black hole.
The "Come On Boys, We Need Your Help" Section
Mike Lamb: Lamb wasn't expected to hit 20 homers, or strike fear into the heart of any pitcher who stepped onto the mound, but the idea behind signing him was that he could easily improve upon Punto's notoriously horrendous output from third base last year. To this point he's not really doing much better, hitting .207/.224/.272. If you're wondering if part of the problem is in the splits, don't bother. He's still doing better versus right-handed pitchers, but it's a moot point right now: .555 OPS versus righties, .214 OPS versus southpaws. The free agent investment in Mike Lamb was a smart one, but for the moment it isn't working out.
2008 - Mike Lamb
Delmon Young: Unlike Lamb, Young had some moderate expectations to deliver some punch in the middle of the order. After Thursday afternoon's loss to the White Sox he's hitting .264/.308/.304, with only three doubles and no home runs to go along with a very low line-drive percentage (14%) and a whole lot of ground balls (60%). His isolated power is .042, which is miserable. On the plus side, at least to this point in the season his walk rates are up slightly, and his strikeout rates are down slightly, in comparison to 2007. There's clearly loads of raw talent there, we can all see it stewing underneath the surface, so hopefully he can play through this and bust out sometime soon. Until then, I think he needs to be put On Notice.
|2008 - Delmon Young||32||121||17||31||3||1||0||10||8||22||6||1||.256||.302||.298|